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U.S. Faces Billions in Retaliatory Tariffs After Reported WTO Loss on Meat Labeling Rules

Posted August 26, 2014

Under Economic Issues, International Trade Issues

(STR Trade Report)

Press reports indicate that the World Trade Organization has again ruled against U.S. regulations on the country of origin labeling of meat products. The decision brings the U.S. one step closer to billions of dollars’ worth of retaliatory sanctions against its exports to Canada and Mexico.

The 2008 Farm Bill revised the previous mandatory COOL requirements to provide that in order for a commodity to be labeled as a product of the U.S. all production activities associated with the commodity have to occur on U.S. soil or in U.S. waters. For products produced in the integrated North American marketplace, the label must indicate every country in which a stage of production has taken place. The 2008 Farm Bill also imposed mandatory COOL requirements for muscle cuts of beef (including veal), lamb, chicken, goat and pork; ground beef, lamb, chicken, goat and pork; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; perishable agricultural commodities; macadamia nuts; pecans; ginseng; and peanuts.  Read more here.